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Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should a person with MG receive vaccinations?
  2. Can a person with MG give blood?
  3. I have all the symptoms of MG and not one positive test. Also, I had polio 50 years ago. Is there a test that can distinguish between these problems? The only test not done is a CT scan looking for a thymoma and the neurologist says that would be a waste of time and money.
  4. How common is it for myasthenics to have other autoimmune diseases? I have been told I have myasthenia, along with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Could that be possible? If it is possible, why?
  5. My mother is reacting badly to Imuran, which has been prescribed to control her Myasthenia Gravis. She is also on Mestinon. Her symptoms include retching, throwing up and increased salivary flow causing her to spit up non-stop. She does fine on the Mestinon alone, but we've been told she needs the Imuran for long term use. We are wondering if there is an alternative that can be used to the Imuran.
  6. I was diagnosed with MG 20 years ago and was in complete remission for 13 years and it suddenly came back. About 5 years ago I underwent a thymectomy and am not on any medication. Sometimes I have weakened vision. Should I worry about greater symptoms coming back later?
  7. I would like some information regarding MG in a 12 year old girl. She has gone through all the standard testing and was found to have a tumor on her thymus gland. Is the treatment regimen the same as in adults? What would be the long term side effects of removing the thymus gland of a 12 year old?
  8. I had a thymectomy over 10 years ago. I have been in partial remission since that time, with the MG symptoms never as bad as they had been before the surgery. (I could barely walk, brush my hair, eat, hold a pencil...even while taking Mestinon around the clock...it was horrible). I'm glad that I had the surgery, however, I have had various medical and non-medical people react in horror when they found out that I had my thymus removed, because of the thymus' part in T-cell production and the immune system. My question -- does having no thymus wreak havoc with the immune system, does it make me more susceptible to flu/colds etc.?
  9. I was diagnosed with MG in 1992. My initial symptoms were blurred vision and general weakness. A Tensilon test was positive for MG. Lately I have been having some really strange symptoms: I cannot feel hot or cold in my fingers (pick up hot utensils without hotpad, etc.). I rapidly rub my middle finger on my thumb. I have what my doctor calls ataxia. I have moderate short term memory loss. My question is this, should I be concerned about another problem, or are these symptoms relatively consistent with MG?
  10. I take 180 milligrams of Mestinon daily and am experiencing double vision. Will this medication improve the double vision?
Question: Should a person with MG receive vaccinations?

Answer: What sounds like a simple question, is not. You should always discuss with your doctor whether to receive a vaccination.

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Last Reviewed: Mar 16, 2001

Henry J Kaminski, MD Henry J Kaminski, MD
Formerly, Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University